Q. How do I move my Thunderbird email client settings from Debian Linux desktop to a new Ubuntu Linux laptop? I’ve installed Thunderbird on Ubuntu Linux but not able to find any import or export option. How do I move settings?
A. Make sure Mozilla Thunderbird is not running. You need find out your profile directory / folder. Open terminal and change directory to ~.thunderbird:
$ cd ~.thunderbird
Type ls command to see the profile directory:
appreg iz80591g.default profiles.ini
The path is usually ~/.thunderbird/xxxxxxxx.default/ (xxx is random character; in above example it is iz80591g.default directory). You can copy iz80591g.default using network (scp command) or USB pen. Insert USB pen and copy iz80591g.default to pen drive:
$ cp -avr iz80591g.default /media/disk/
You can also use GUI tools. Open file manager by clicking on Places > Home Folder > Hit CTRL+H to display hidden file. Go to .thunderbird > highlight all files and folders in it. Copy the files to the desired backup location.
A note about Windows XP / Vista profile location
The path is usually %AppData%ThunderbirdProfilesxxxxxxxx.default . Open command prompt and type command to find out your path:
Windows GUI method
Alternatively, click on Start > Run > Type the command:
Press [Enter] key > Open the Thunderbird folder.
A note about Mac OS X
The path is usually ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/xxxxxxxx.default/. Open a terminal and type the command to find out your path:
OS X GUI method
Open your home folder > Select Library folder > select the Thunderbird folder.
How do I restore the profile?
Copy the files from USB pen
Open a terminal and type the command:
$ cd ~/.thunderbird/
Run ls command to see the folder noted when you created your restoration profile. Run cd command on the folder:
$ cd xxxxxxxx.restore
$ cp -avr /media/disk/iz80591g.default/* .
Alternatively, you can highlight and copy all files using Places > Home Folder method.
Start the thunderbird and you should see all your old emails including settings.